So I'm in New York City for another hour or two - the car service picked me up right in front of the place I was staying in, right on time, and so I was out of Manhattan and over the Brooklyn Bridge Right. On. Time.
And then we got out on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway - traffic was bad, it's a damned hot day - and the car overheated.
We limped at 15 mph to the Woodhaven Boulevard exit--by some miracle, we weren't rear-ended by a transfer truck doing 70 - and pulled into a gas station.
I was about to call the dispatcher to send me another car, when the universe sent me a Band-Aid (maybe Carrie will explain the origin of this Campbell-Weiner family expression in the comments.)
A medallion cab (Yellow Cab) pulled up to the gas pump. I hurried over and asked the driver if he'd take a fare to JFK once he was finished pumping gas.
The guy - middle-aged Jewish dude, maybe a few years older than me, maybe not - grinned and said, "If you're in a real hurry, I don't even need the gas - just topping the tank off."
I assured him I could wait for him to finish, and bought three bottles of water - one for the hapless car service driver, one for the cab driver who rescued me, and one for me - it's a HOT day out, people.
As I took a closer look at the cab - I realized that it was a Lexus hybrid, brand spanking new.
They don't turn Lexuses into cabs in New York City, y'all.
I asked the driver - "Are you the medallion owner?" (The "medallion" is the license to operate a cab in NYC; it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars and 99.9% of cab drivers rent them.)
He grinned again and said "Yes. Get in."
We had a delightful drive to JFK from Woodhaven Boulevard on surface streets with no traffic. Neil, the garrulous owner/driver, had grown up in the area and knew the streets like a farmer knows his field.
I tipped lavishly on a $25 fare to the airport (naturally, I didn't pay the guy whose car broke down a dime...)
Nice save, Neil. I mean that thing.